The Secret Recipe

If you have done a lot of baking you can take a quick look at these ingredients and determine that it is a recipe for some type of chocolate cookie or brownie.

This is how I write my recipes. I bake often so I don’t usually need to write down all of the instructions for combining the ingredients. If, however, I gave this recipe to someone who has not had a lot of experience, it may be confusing. (This happens to be a fabulous recipe for brownies.)

This recipe is like life. Sometimes we think we know what we are doing, but it is only through experience that we begin to master the process. Someone who has baked a lot will find it very simple to take a look at these ingredients and know exactly how to proceed.

An experienced baker will know the slight differences that will occur by using dark brown sugar instead of light. Someone with a lot of experience working with chocolate will easily recognize the subtle changes in flavor between Valrhona, Callebaut or Scharffen Berger.

An experienced baker will know what size pan to use to reach the desired effect. Will the brownies be thick and dense or thin and chewy? An experienced baker may even start to add additional ingredients like toasted walnuts, cinnamon, mint or chunks of chocolate to make the recipe more interesting. Just by looking at the brownies, someone with experience will know when to take them out of the oven.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone will like the brownies. The “Best Brownie” recipe for one person may be completely different for someone else. That is what makes life so exciting.

I remember a girl in high school who brought a plate of chocolate chip cookies to a party. She made the cookies with double the amount of chocolate chips. Most of the people at the party made fun of her for not following the recipe. I thought they were some of the best cookies I had ever tasted. I often wonder if negative comments from other people eventually stifled this girl’s confidence and creativity.

How often do you fall into the crowd and follow what everyone else is doing just because you want to be accepted? How often is your creativity killed because you are worried about what everyone else will think? How often do you follow the “recipe” because you are afraid of making a mistake or you are not willing to try something new? How often do you say something is the “best” just because everyone else is calling it the “best”?

We don’t all have the same tastes and interests. Life would be boring if we all followed the same path. It is time to start thinking about projects in a different way. Think how they could be improved by adding a few special ingredients. Experiment and add some spice.

Get creative and make time for chocolate.